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What A Rabbi, An Imam And A Bishop Think About Jeff Sessions’ Zero Tolerance Policy (HBO)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing mounting criticism from an unexpected group: fellow members of his church.

More than 600 members of United Methodist Church issued a formal complaint against Sessions three days after he used a passage from the Bible to justify the Trump administration’s controversial “Zero Tolerance” policy against immigrants arriving at the border. Sessions has been an adamant defender of the policy, which has resulted in over 2,000 children being separated from their parents since early May.

Specifically, his fellow church members are charging him with “the misuse of Romans 13 to indicate the necessity of obedience to secular law,” among other offenses.

They’re far from the only ones criticizing Sessions’ use of religion to defend his policy on the border.

VICE News sat down with a bishop, an imam, and a rabbi to discuss Sessions’ controversial use of religious text — and how religious doctrine is often abused to further political interests.

“In each of our faith traditions and all faith traditions the goal is not to blindly follow but to search and to really explore, and think, and wrestle, and come up with answers,” said Rabbi Yael Rapport when asked about the Attorney General’s use of Romans 13. “I imagine that Sessions used that quote in order to reinforce this idea of hierarchy: that the text is teaching you must follow who’s above you.”

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Separated By Birth (Trailer) | VICE on HBO, Season 6, Ep. 11

There are more than four million U.S.-born children living in the United States who have at least one undocumented immigrant parent. As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) widens its target for enforcement, more of these kids — U.S. citizens by birth — could see their families uprooted by the arrest, detention, and removal of their parents. VICE Correspondent Krishna Andavolu embeds with ICE and explores what it’s like to be an American kid growing up in the shadow of deportation.

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Migrants Are Crossing The Border To Escape Danger At Home Despite Trump’s Policies (HBO)

JUAREZ, Chihuahua — President Trump’s executive order barring migrants families from being separated at the border was welcome news to recent deportees and those preparing to cross illegally at a shelter here just miles from the Texas border, but they doubt any change in U.S. policy will forestall the migratory crush from Mexico and Central America each summer.

That’s how bad things are at home.

Israel Rojas, 32, was deported outside of Matamoros last week and arrived in Juarez on Wednesday, floral-pattern suitcase in tow. It was his fourth deportation. His next arrest for illegal entry could leave him in prison for 3-5 years.

Instead of risking it, he sent money to help his wife and four children moved from Virginia to El Paso, Texas. He’s looking for houses across the border, in Juarez, but worries about the violence. His family will visit him on weekends.

“Over here, you might not only see your children for a while, but at least you’ll reunite with them,” Rojas said. “Over there, you and your children are in risk of getting killed.”

While child separation was a horror, said Casa de Migrante shelter director Blanca Rivera, news of recent policy like Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” treatment of first-time border crossers hasn’t necessarily reached migrants in Central America en route to the U.S.

“Their willingness to migrate doesn’t change,” Rivera said. “They all
still have hopes and dreams in their minds, and they want to try and follow them no matter what.”

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Inside The Fight For Drug Transparency | VICE on HBO, Season 6 (Bonus)

“The cost is just unacceptable for something that many people are required to take or we die. We will die without it.”

These are the people fighting to make the drugs that keep them alive cheaper.

See the full VICE on HBO episode on HBO Now https://bit.ly/1aG44iT

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Congress Can’t Figure Out A Solution To The Family Separation Crisis (HBO)

President Donald Trump met with Congressional Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss a path forward on various immigration bills — but a solution to the family separation crisis at the border was still far from certain when the meeting wrapped.

While House Republicans plan to vote on two wide-ranging immigration proposals this week, only one of them currently includes a proposal to prevent children from being separated from their parents when apprehended at the border. That bill, a compromise proposal hammered out by House GOP Leadership, is still facing long odds of passage, as every Democrat is expected to vote against it.

On the Senate side, a trio of senators have each introduced standalone bills specifically addressing the family separation crisis, while leaving other controversial immigration issues out. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an immigration hardliner and one of the lawmakers offering a bill to fix the situation, emphasized that while the “broader debates about immigration… will continue,” the scope of his current efforts is much smaller.

“My focus is on solving the specific problem of ensuring that kids stay with their parents,” he told VICE News.

But ultimately, the solution to the problem lies with the president. But he’s spent the last week further complicating the issue by offering a series of contradictory statements on the House GOP immigration bills — all while denying any responsibility for the crisis in the first place. (Trump’s administration is responsible for introducing the “zero tolerance” policy, which is at the heart of the current crisis on the border.)

On Tuesday, Trump even suggested that the debate over immigration could continue indefinitely.

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Immigrants Trying To Seek Asylum Legally Are Being Turned Away At The U.S. Border (HBO)

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Net Neutrality Is Dead, But How Dead Is It? (HBO)

According to everyone, the free and open internet died on Monday.
Or did it?

In December, the Federal Communications Commission, lead by Chairman Ajit Pai, voted 3-2 to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules.
Those rules had been put in place by his Obama-appointed predecessor, Tom Wheeler, and were finally rolled back June 11.
Pai has said repealing the rules will open up investment and clear the way for companies to build out broadband services in underserved communities.

But many, many others have argued net neutrality prevents Internet Service Providers from prioritizing content or throttling broadband speeds. And those net neutrality diehards have been very vocal, and proactive, about protecting those protections.

Three states – Washington, Oregon and Vermont – have passed legislation protecting net neutrality. 32 other states, and Washington DC, have also proposed some sort of government protection of net neutrality. Mayors in 123 cities have said ISPs working with their cities will have to adhere to net neutrality rules. 23 Attorneys General and about a dozen private groups, including Mozilla, Kickstarter and Etsy, have sued the FCC, saying they didn’t have the right to repeal the 2015 regulations. And finally, the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a measure reinstating net neutrality.

Meaning, it could be a while before net neutrality is well and truly dead across the United States. And that leaves us in a new internet era: net purgatory.

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All The Unpresidential Ways Trump Celebrated His Birthday Before Becoming President (HBO)

Donald Trump celebrates his 72nd birthday.

Today is Donald Trump’s birthday. VICE News takes a look at how the POTUS used to celebrate his birthdays when he wasn’t so…presidential.

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Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy Is So Effective Courts Are Conducting Mass Trials (HBO)

It’s only been in effect for a month, but the Trump administration’s new zero-tolerance immigration policy has already yielded so many arrests that the courts are totally overwhelmed and turning to mass trials just to get everyone seen.

Under past administrations, immigrants with no criminal history caught at the U.S.-Mexico border were sent back to their home countries or, if detained, typically housed with their family members as they moved through immigration court.

But over the past month, the U.S. has brought criminal charges against every adult immigrant apprehended — a drastic policy shift that has upped the workload for defense attorneys and clogged federal courtrooms with, at times, over 75 defendants in a given hearing. Most shockingly, it has created conditions that routinely separate adult migrants from their children with no consistent mechanism in place to reunite them.

VICE News obtained audio of one of these mass trials in McAllen, Texas to illustrate what it is like to experience one of the new mass hearings, and to sit down with Assistant Public Defender Richard Gould.

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Dennis Rodman Wants A Nobel For Laying The Groundwork For The Trump-Kim Summit (HBO)

Not everyone is a fan of Dennis Rodman’s heartfelt advocacy on behalf of North Korea, but President Donald Trump apparently is.

VICE News was there when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders personally thanked Rodman in a phone call on behalf of the president.

“Well, I just wanted to call in. The president had seen some of your comments over the last several days, and he just wanted me to reach out and thank you for some of the positive things you said and appreciate you, being helpful in this process,” Sanders said. We’re not quite sure what comments she meant, but Rodman was in Singapore during the summit and has expressed support on Twitter and elsewhere for Donald Trump over the past several days. He even got emotional when discussing the summit on CNN.

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